Pet safety: Cat at pool in Beverly Hills MI

If they really wanted to, cats would run the world. After all, they’ve already taken over the internet! Let’s face it, cats have their priorities straight. Who wouldn’t want to sleep 75% of the day, only to wake up for a shower, a meal, or a snuggle? 

All kidding aside, cats have some incredible adaptations that have allowed them to survive in some challenging environments. Despite having evolved in the desert, cats swim remarkably well. But should they?

Don’t Cats Hate Water?

Like most things in a cat’s life, if they aren’t positively introduced to something at a relatively early age it may not ever be fully accepted. Most kittens receive a bath at some point in their young lives, but it may not necessarily be a calming, relaxing, and enjoyable experience. Instead, out of necessity, kittens are washed and dried quickly to ease any fear or stress.

Luckily, their dislike doesn’t preclude them from meeting their hydration needs. Many cats enjoy the sound and appearance of falling water and are drawn to faucets, sprinklers, fountains and more. Cats may not drink as much water as dogs, but they must always have access to cool, fresh drinking water.

Big Cats Swim Too!

Tigers are famous for their swimming prowess. It gets pretty hot in the jungle and they depend on water to help regulate their body temperature. They’re incredibly strong swimmers, with powerful webbed feet, and have been known to hunt in long stretches of water up to 9 miles long.

Other big cats swim, too, such as jaguars, lions, and panthers routinely hunt and relax in and around the water’s edge.

Certain Breeds

It’s safe to say that if they absolutely had to, cats can swim. But that doesn’t mean that they want to. However, certain breeds like Maine Coon, Turkish Van, Bengal, Manx and more domestic breeds really take to the water. 

One possible explanation behind why some cats detest getting wet is that a sopping fur coat is hard to move around in and easier for predators to detect. In other words, getting wet makes them feel extra vulnerable (and who likes that?).

Swimming Safety for Cats

For cats that enjoy swimming, be sure that they only get into the water when supervised. They can still get trapped beneath pool covers and not be able to find their way out. Install an alarm that goes off if there is movement in the pool, or a fence that deters entry. 

If you are interested in training your cat to swim, move forward slowly. Offer encouragement, patience, and gentle guidance. Never force them into the water. 

Be sure that your cat knows exactly where the exit points are, and provide ramps for their confidence and ease.

Always Amazing!

Cats and simply amazing! The fact that cats swim shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with their skills. If you have additional questions about feline behavior, safety and wellness, please let us know. Our team is always here for you at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates